And there we have it. Canada’s best offence will play Canada’s best defence in the 107th Grey Cup. If you want to harvest viewership, interest and general acclaim for a league, it’s best to have a matchup like this as your most prestigious matchup of the season.
Those two backgrounds were the storyline of the Divisional Finals, but the roles were reversed when you look at the box score. High-scoring Winnipeg put up just 20 points, while the defensive-focused Tiger Cats scored 36 points against Edmonton.
That comes down to coaching and adjustments – exhibiting just why these two teams are likely the most intriguing Grey Cup matchup we’ve had in a number of years.
The three primary markets to assess are the moneyline, the points total and the spread – and we can give you an overview on which stance to take across each of the three – you’ll find all the markets on CanPlay Sports.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Grey Cup betting preview.
Grey Cup Final
Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs Hamilton Tiger Cats, Sunday 24th November 6PM
Moneyline – Hamilton Tiger Cats (-165)
It’s very simple. Nerves affect you playing on offence. They generally don’t affect you playing on defence.
While these two teams are experienced postseason units, it’s worth noting that the last time either won the coveted trophy was in 1999 when Hamilton beat Calgary in BC Place.
You have to go back to the start of that decade – 1990 – for the last time the Blue Bombers won a Grey Cup.
Since then, there’s been four appearances by these teams in the pinnacle of the sport – and each of them have resulted in defeat.
Seven different teams have won this trophy since either of these two franchises managed it. Now consider the fanbase expectations as well as the media build up and general excitement around their respective catchment areas.
Offence wins fans – defence wins championships. Hamilton are giving up 19 points per game in the CFL this season. A repeat of that sees them run out big winners.
Spread – Hamilton Tiger Cats (-3.5): -110
I cannot explain just how lucky the Blue Bombers are to be here. Cody Fajardo had the Riders inside the Winnipeg five-yard line on three separate occasions, just producing three points for their efforts.
Winnipeg were outplayed. They were blessed to benefit from penalties, turnovers and bad play calls. I don’t believe for a second there’s a better head coach in the Canadian Football League than Hamilton’s Orlondo Steinauer. This occasion will not be beyond him.
It will, however, get to Zach Collaros. The 31-year-old was part, at least in name, of a Grey Cup winning side back in 2012 after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But that counts for very little. Due to a trade with this very game in mind in the ideal scenario dreamt up by the Winnipeg executives, Collaros doesn’t come in as a walk-on-type underdog story like Nick Foles.
No, he has expectations – and those expectations are going to break him in front of the CFL’s best defensive unit.
Total Points – Under 52 (-110)
This game is going to be slow-paced, particularly in the first half as coaches will script easy completions for both quarterbacks with heavy doses of the run game.
A slow start in this one makes getting to a 52-point over/under very difficult indeed, which is why I’d side towards fewer points.
The weather looks relatively calm, with a slight wind – but it is going to be about -1 degree Celsius by gametime, which makes it every so slightly tougher to throw the ball.
Your big-time, downfield receivers might struggle to open up and take flight as they usually do – and as I cannot possibly see Winnipeg putting up 26 points, I also can’t fathom a situation that requires Hamilton to need more than 26 to win.
Back the under with CanPlay.